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Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor Deli
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Store ]
1529 Connecticut Ave NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 332-0240
Closed on Sundays.
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quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After stopping (again) at Church Key DC, I made my way to Dupont Circle trying to find Pizzeria Paradiso. The crowd waiting for a table was INSANE. So my European friend said, "forgetaboutit" and we went to Kramerbooks & Afterwords nearby (review can be read separately). After that, and on our way to the subway, I stumbled upon Connecticut Avenue Wine Deli.
I vaguely remembered reading about this place here on BA, but wow! I sure was not expecting the jewels I found here.
The place is tiny, cramped and hard to navigate. One person only per aisle, please. And- the beer section is only, like, two shelves.
But what a selection! Tons of Heavy Seas bombers (at discounted prices), Sierra, Dogfish packs (Burton, Olde School), AND Russian River Damnation (what!!??), Ballast Sculpin' and so on. Lost Abbey. Three Floyds Gumballhead and Alpha King.
Mostly liquor and wine, but when you find the aforementioned treasures, who cares? They also probably have some foreign brews, as I ran into some Spaniards looking for their bullshit Bud-like Euro lagers and apparently found them.
Sure, a lot of beers are damn pricey, but- wouldn't you pay a premium to get 3Floyds or Russian River in DC? Yeah.
Service was nice. Despite all the customers and tiny store, a guy said hi and offered help. Good enough! I rarely get as much as a "hello" at booze stores like this one.
If you live in DC, you MUST come here. If you're visiting... well, you MUST come here too! :-)
01-13-2011 03:17:22 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here following a holiday sojourn to Pizzeria Paradiso, where they were pleasing the thirsty populace with a Year-End Jubilation. While their mainstay is wine, of which there is plenty, there were some very wonderful surprises beer-wise. Walked out the happy bastard hauling a Schlafly Imperial Stout, a Bell's Batch 10,000 as well as some damn fine cookies. While it is out of my way as I seldom get up to Dupont Circle, this is a respectable beer store that offers quality as opposed to quantity.
12-25-2010 01:45:29 |
More by jjboesen
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Popped in here tonight to buy some Bourbon County Rare...very nice. had never been to this place before and I have no idea why, all the liquor stores I go to are close to red or green line metro places and this is across the street from the north exit of the dupont station. I will totally go back.
This place is TINY but packed with wine and beer, decent selection, not much macros here but overall a very nice place. Lots of shelves lots of imports lots of good beer.
Nice family runs the place, they are affable and helpful. I will be returning in the near future to purchase more beer.
Probably about 150 to 200 different bottles of craft, locals (MD / DC) and lots of imports. Some macro stuff but not too much. Decent, especially considering the size. Good value, comparable to DC locations, for being in dupont, probably a little cheap!
12-21-2010 04:09:46 |
More by drabmuh
District of Columbia
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
Even though I have moments when I'm genuinely conflicted about this place and its mission of pulling "out of market" brews, placing them on the shelf many miles from their intended targets, and then charging an arm and a leg for them, I find myself gravitating to this place quite often.
Atmosphere: This is located right off the DuPont Circle Metro stop and is a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of my favorite restaurants and hangs in DC.
They have restructured in the last year or so and that is a very good thing. With the small amount of space that is allotted here, I'm glad the deli is gone. In its place... more shelves... for beer... gotta love it!
Quality and Service: Al, the beer guru, is the absolute bomb! He always remembers your face, and is passionate about some of the cool beers that he can get... and WILL get! My advice is to speak with him and get on his email list, that way you will always be aware of the cool beers that he works hard to attain.
Selection: This is NOT the place to take an out of towner looking for local brews. There is very little (if any) DC Brau, Lost Rhino, and Heavy Seas here. This place is about pleasing us DC beer geeks, and to that end, Al is a force to be reckoned with...
A non-comprehensive list of the beers that I've seen at this place: Most of the biggie brews from Lost Abbey, FFF, Surly, Dark Horse, and Cigar City (just bought a Zukov the other day). More: Heady Topper, Alpine: Nelson, Speedway Stout, Older Viscosity, Victory at Sea, and many, many others. Catch my drift?
Value: This place is expensive according to what I'm use to, no doubt. $20 for a bottle of Dreadnaught? Jeez... But look at it this way: If you don't have access to the beer and have to trade for it, it will cost you about as much in the long run due to shipping, hassle, etc...
If you're local and a beer geek... look no further.
12-23-2011 04:09:07 |
More by Chaney
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$$
The Connecticut Avenue wine & deli shop is quite small. Walking around the place you better not bring a backpack cause chances are you will knock something over.
As for the beer selection though, it is a small selection but focuses on quality. Most of it is contained on one tiny shelf and packed tightly, with some items on the floor (watch your step), and also some things in a cooler. This was where I was able to find some Fantome, B.O.R.I.S. and Mephisto out of the blue. I even found and obscure bottle of Damnation here. If you do look and notice everything that is offered you realise it's a little bigger selection than it looks. The one guy who orders and works there is also very knowledgeable on the beer and can answer questions on styles, recommendations, and what he can get you. (Al is his name by the way).
Prices though depending on what you want are a bit high, this is after all the Dupont circle neighborhood and it isn't cheap. Thing is there probably are not a lot of beer fanatics in the area so items tend to stick around on the shelf and you can get them, although sometimes you have to pay for it.
There have been times though I have gone in here, and the prices have been jacked on items that are suddenly becoming popular. The other good thing though is this one of the few stores that gets in real obscure domestic craft items that don't show up anywhere else in the DC/MD/VA area.
Also as an update they remodelled the store, and took out the deli and the beer section sits there now which is MUCH better, larger, easier and accessible. I am in here often.
01-04-2011 17:00:26 |
More by smakawhat
District of Columbia
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$$
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 - $$$$
Something bizarre has happened beerwise with what used to be a despicable store full of horror stories to become this prized nugget of rarities in town.
In essence the store seems to have a clandestine hook up that enables it to receive some brews that are not available elsewhere in town, such as Cigar City, Lost Abbey etc. And it also stretches the gamut to quite a few iconic and sought after brews where it also may seem to have an early lead. This stuff is clearly overpriced, and unless one has a strong fancy for a particular choice it is tough to feel very much attracted by the overall set up. Some things are on sale, with reduced prices but make one wonder if they might be trying to get rid of some skeletons. Quite a bunch of reduced single hop Mikkellers for instance... This selection while good is not particularly extensive, and is completed by a generically speaking macro fridge that may help to cover the other range of customers.
On these morning return visits the staff behind the counter was correct but not particularly helpful, or seemingly knowledgeable.
I dunno, as for me if I were nearby and needed a fancy pick I might use it. Other than that...
And sure enough I´m still mesmerized by the consensus of glowing reviews. What I had here preceding this rewrite was the last and only critical note of them all. I wonder about the missing reviews, plenty I seem to remember. Were they flagged or considered outdated? Weird...
01-25-2011 20:12:20 |
More by Daniellobo
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Nice little place not too far at all from the Dupont Circle station, so plenty accessible to travelers. By not too far, I mean about twenty steps from the northern exit to the station. Small place on the corner, beer is to the left and back once you walk in. Not a huge number of beers, but there isn't much of anything there that I wouldn't mind drinking.
Al is great and always extremely helpful. The e-mail updates aren't frequent, but normally contain a few gems. Connecticut Ave. is perhaps the best in DC at taking advantage of the liquor laws and bringing in plenty of out-of-market beers. While they're generally pricey, it's nice to have that option. Most of the time these beers are fresh -- e.g., in the past week I've seen Deschutes Inversion IPA and Surly Furious that were less than a month old -- though occasionally some things slip, so I wouldn't grab anything hoppy without a date code.
All in all, definitely a place worth stopping. DC has pretty good distribution, and this becomes excellent when you add in the extra stuff available here.
08-13-2011 15:35:22 |
More by Thorpe429
District of Columbia
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
it's been said before, and i'll say it again. in my humble opinion, this is dc's best kept secret of a beer store. a family run business and a beer buyer that not only cares, but will go to great lengths to bring us the most tasty, coveted and hard to get beers available. on a recent trip there i picked up Russian River Damnation, Cigar City J'ai Alai IPA, Stillwater Stateside Saison and Girardin Black Label Geuze. pretty good for an area that was a beer wasteland a few years back. i can only imagine how good this store would be if they had a little more space. thanks and cheers conn ave!!!
12-22-2010 13:10:54 |
More by timtim
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Dropped in for the first time yesterday afternoon, May 16th 2011.
First of all, the shop and specifically the beer corner is extremely small. I've seen some tiny bottle shops before, but this one may take the cake. It is very clean, and well organized considering.
Luckily though, the selection was really top notch. I can't say they had everything you'd want, but what they specialize in is carrying the hard to find. Looking for Lost Abbey? How about CCB? Yeah, they've got 'em - and more. But as I said, they don't have everything you'd want, though they do make a concerted effort to carry the more popular items from each out of town brewery they stock.
I've heard some horror stories about the customer service here, but I certainly didn't see it. In fact I was very well taken care of. There was a really nice gentleman who seemed to be really knowledgeable about the beers they carried, and extremely proud of being able to stock some of the things you won't find in many other places around town. We talked for some time, and I'll be returning for not only the brews, but to chat with him again.
Because their selection is almost unattainable within city limits, you'll be paying for it. Literally. A 375mL LA Angel's Share for example retails for $27.99 plus tax. Their 750mL Serpent's Stout is about the same. But if you want it, and have the cash, it's certainly cheaper then most of the trades I've completed to secure said bottles.
Overall this is a hidden gem I plan on frequenting. When speaking of high quality DC bottle shops, Connecticut Ave. Wine & Liquor needs to be in the conversation. Quality, not quantity.
05-17-2011 16:38:57 |
More by Rhettroactive
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
In DC for business and researched beer stores near my hotel. Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor did not disappoint, nor the reviews which led me here. The selection isn't broad, but the offerings are pretty top notch. Al knows his beer and is very friendly and helpful. Upon speaking with him, and learning that I was looking for some things I couldn't get where I live, he was all kinds of helpful. The mark-ups were a little steep, but you get what you pay for, as the saying goes. Conveniently located in DuPont Circle, this tiny shop is definitely worth a visit if you are in our nation's capitol.
03-05-2012 00:56:11 |
More by DWolf
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Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor Deli in Washington, DC